Which is probably why only scant attention is being paid to those four new kidnapped hostages of the MILF/Abu Sayyaf Group compared to the round-the-clock coverage of Ces Drilon, her two camera men and a professor for peace! After all who in the media really cares about some no-name employees of a Basilan electric cooperative. So what if they get beheaded, right? Anyway the famous tv anchorwoman Ces Drilon is safe, eh?
Manuel L. Quezon III takes up the issue of the Manila Pen caper, in which the most recent development is a decision by the Makati Regional Trial Court junking a ten million peso class action law suit by journalists who got in the way of law enforcers trying to serve arrest warrants against military rebels Sonny Trillanes and Danilo Lim. He points to an editorial in Business World (most likely written by Vergel O. Santos, one of the losing plaintiffs in the case) in which the faint complaint against the decision is heard that, "No attempt whatever has been made to validate it against superior legal principles, such as laid down in the constitution, in particular freedom of the press." Such an accusation cannot however be made against this blog and it is most unfair of MLQ3 to characterize my position as trivializing the importance of the decision as a mere comeuppance for the plaintiffs as I have always proudly and loudly argued these issues from "superior legal principles". Here is a small selection of relevant posts that I urge my good friend MLQ3 to peruse and debate on their own merits:
Press Freedom is not a License to Obstruct Justice and Endanger Police
The Difference Between Free Blogging and Commercial Journalism
Who Owns the Right to Know -- the Public, the Press, Congress?
Media Asks the Supreme Court to Make Them Immune from the Law
Supreme Court Praised for Prejudging Hundreds of Active Libel Cases
The Myth That Media Can Be Unobtrusive
The Limits of Press Freedom in Broadcast Journalism
Two Writs Don't Make a Right
The Right to Life Has Priority Over the Right to Know
Long Live Sancho Panza!
Oblivious Human Shields and the Right to Be in Harm's Way
Rapporteur is French for Reporter and Amparo is Gobbledygook for Unconstitutional
Artistic Freedom and the Right to Be Unhappy With It
Dustup Over Angono and the Terrorist Bill of Rights
Press Freedom and Organized Religion are Freedoms of Assembly
Bitter Herbs and Purple Flowers
PDI and the Separation of the Church and the Press
The Responsible Journalism of Conrado de Quiros
Pangalangan v. Puno on Judicial Activism and the Rule of Law
The Right to Know and the Writ of Amparo
Spying on Senate Executive Session Was a Violation of National Security
The reader will hopefully find more than just "superior legal principles" argued in these posts, but common sense and reason as well, to guard against the creeping liberal fascism of those in the Mass Media who haven't a care for the principle that Justice is Fairness and that NO RIGHT is unlimited by the duty to uphold the Constitution. Press Freedom as organized journalism is a MERE commercial right that like a spring cannot rise higher than its source in EVERYONE'S rights and freedoms. It is the height of hubris to claim that the right to sell news, views and entertainment somehow trumps the right to life and law and order.
The full text of the Makati Regional Trial Court decision dismissing the class action suit of the Manila Pen journalists is provided by ABSCBN News Research Dept. (pdf)